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Petrosyan I. An Illustrated Turkish Manuscript of “Iskender-nāme” by Ahmedī // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 1, No 2, October 1995. Pp. 47-61.

In the collection of the St. Petersburg branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies there is an illustrated manuscript of the poem Iskender-nāme by Ahmedī (1334/35— 1412/13), written in old Anatolian Turkic at the end of the 14th century. The poem composed after the most popular work by Nizami is one of the earliest samples of Turkic Anatolian literature and presents great interest from many points of view. The life and conquests of Alexander the Great commemorated in the vast literary tradition of the Near East enjoyed an immense popularity among the Oriental peoples beginning from the ancient times. It is therefore hardly surprising that the subject was taken by the renowned Turkish poet of the 14—15th centuries Ah medi, who wrote his own version of Alexander the Great romance in verse for his patron — the Germiyan ruler Suleyman (1377—1387). The poet, soon after his work had been accomplished, found a new patron at the court of the Ottoman ruler Bayezid I (1389—1402) to whom he intended to present his poem with an additional section dealing with the history of the Ottoman dynasty. The disaster near Angora (Ankara), where the Ottoman army of Bayezid was defeated in 1402 by the troops of Timur (1370—1405), made him change his plans, because of Bayezid's captivity and death soon afterwards. The poet presented his work to the son and successor of Bayezid, Suleyman (1402—1410), who became the third powerful patron of Ahmedī and a true judge of his poetical talent…


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Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers
Turkish manuscripts

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